Recap of the last few days on the trail: At Mass on Sunday, Fr. Ted Kossee at Queen of Angels Church in Peebles, Ohio, said he had the funeral of a young girl who had been killed in a car accident, when the car her mother was driving apperently slid on some ice and crashed into a Dodge Caravan… I am currently drafting a position paper on transportation in the U.S. I note that the Old Order Amish (Mennonites, Quakers…) refrain from driving, in part, because it’s a grave matter to cause someone’s death, they believe, no matter what the circumstance. The point being, anytime we get in an automobile, we know there is a heightenned chance we might kill someone. Several years ago, I interviewed a man who has a driving school in central Ohio. He told me statistics show someone is killed every 13 minutes on U.S. roads. That translates into a little more than 95 traffic deaths a day, or the equivalent of a “half full jetliner.” He added if a half full jetliner went down everyday in America, there would be a major outcry — and flying might be a thing of the past. But in our ‘auto-addicted’ society, we simply look past these tragic deaths (like this little girl in Adams County), and go on: ‘injecting the miles.’ Isn’t it about time we move out of denial about our driving habits in America, and face the reality of what we’ve created?… And speaking of deaths, during an informal round table with some community members from Presentation Ministries in Peebles, Ohio, Bob Olsen told me about his efforts to save unborn babies over the years. Olsen used to live in Houghton, Michigan (in the Upper Peninsula). He said in Houghton there was a storefront clinic that referred women to abortion doctors. Olsen said he and a group of church members would protest in front of the downtown clinic every week for two years. Because of the protests, merchants also exerted pressure on the clinic to close as well. And it did… In Bluefield, West Virginia today I was interviewed by a local columnist. I said that on the way here along the Ohio River, we saw a lot of barges filled with coal. (Coal minig is big in West Virginia.) I said as president I would stridently work toward a shift from burning fossil fuels like coal (that causes acid rain, global warming…) toward much more clean, renewable energy from solar and wind sources. Well, few have accused me of pandering. Note: the Bluefield Public Library marquee reads: “Deck the Halls with Books and Holly.” Is that how it goes?